Russell Martin | It's a point, and a performance to be proud of

14th August 2021
First team
Russell Martin.

Head coach Russell Martin was proud of the performance of his Swansea City side as they picked up a first point of the season against promotion hopefuls Sheffield United.

The Swans played out a goalless draw with the Blades as fans returned in their numbers to the Stadium, and had control of long periods of the game.

Joel Latibeaudiere and Jamal Lowe had the best chances for the hosts, while ex-Swan Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick spurned the clearest opportunities for the visitors.

With a number of players absent through injury and suspension, Swans boss Martin could not fault the efforts of his squad, and believes there is plenty more to come after performing strongly against a side many are backing for an immediate return to the Premier League.

“I am pleased with a point, I think there were a lot of positives to take from it,” he said.

“The players played the way we asked them to, and we had control for a lot of the game.

“I think we lack the fitness we really need to do it for 90 minutes at the moment, to keep that control, but we limited them to very little.

“We did not have as much as we would have liked in the final third but, on the whole, in terms of what the players are giving us – and what we are asking them to do – they are doing brilliantly.

“They deserve a lot of credit. We played a team tonight who are going to be right up there, they had players with a lot of Premier League experience and we had six guys who were aged 22 or under.”

Russell Martin.

Martin singled out Latibeaudiere, Ryan Manning and Brandon Cooper for particular praise.

Latibeaudiere has featured in an unfamiliar role of wing-back in the last two games, while Manning started at centre-back and excelled alongside composed academy product Cooper.

“We had Ryan Manning playing his first 90 minutes, so we are really proud of what they delivered and how they went about it,” added Martin.

“They are all producing important moments and giving us something as a team, for sure.

“I think Joel Latibeaudiere has done really well in a new position the last couple of games, and I felt Ryan Manning was outstanding in terms of how he handled himself and managed the game.

“Brandon Cooper deserves a huge amount of credit to play in a position that is hugely important to us. It is a big responsibility and he handled that fantastically well considering he is not fully fit yet.

“He had his first game on Tuesday, so to recover and play like that against a team with so much experience and power; I am really proud of them guys.”